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- OFID and WPC lead launch of “Oil and Gas Industry Energy Access Platform” to support universal energy access by 2030
OFID and WPC lead launch of “Oil and Gas Industry Energy Access Platform” to support universal energy access by 2030
From left: OFID CPES Director Faris Hasan; Sam Parker, Director, Shell Foundation; Joanna Cochrane, VP Social Performance, Royal Dutch Shell; Mats Fredriksson, Director, International Gas Union; Dr Kandeh Yumkella; OFID DG Al-Herbish; Dr. József Toth, President, WPC; Jean-Marc Fontaine, Vice-President, Social Business and Societal, Total SA; Pierce Riemer, Director-General, WPC; Ulrike von Lonski, Director of Communications, WPC; Kimball C. Chen, Chairman of Global LPG Partnership
Vienna, Austria, March 23, 2016. Executives from major oil and gas companies and strategic partners have joined together with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the World Petroleum Council (WPC) to launch an “Oil and Gas Industry Energy Access Platform (EAP).” Designed within the context of the UN multi-stakeholder Sustainable Energy for All initiative, the EAP will directly support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG7 on universal access to sustainable energy.
OFID and WPC are joined by representatives from TOTAL S.A., Shell International B.V., The Global LPG Partnership, The International Gas Union and Shell Foundation, and several others. Other industry players are expected to join the initiative in due course.
OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish described the launch of the EAP as a “defining moment for both OFID and for the members of the oil and gas industry who join us, as we propel the effort to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, modern energy for all.” See Al-Herbish's statement.
He said that the EAP offered a two-fold benefit, giving members the chance to both help the poor and steer the industry in a positive direction. “The EAP will also be a catalyst for meaningful action for other oil and gas companies, development financial institutions, and the private sector to follow,” he added.
OFID has been working to harness the support of the oil and gas industry in eradicating energy poverty since being mandated to do so by its Member Countries in November 2007. A huge effort is still needed to address the needs of the 1.1 billion people lacking electricity access and the 2.9 billion people still using firewood for cooking and heating.
Dr. József Toth, President of the World Petroleum Council, highlighted what the oil and gas industry can bring to the platform. “By sharing practical knowledge, projects and solutions with each other, we can leverage the expertise and capabilities of our industry as key parts of the energy sector to enhance the lives of billions of people who lack access to modern energy options,” he stressed.
The EAP will provide a space for oil and gas companies to collaborate with other stakeholders on a range of specific actions focused on energy access, including the identification of corporate social responsibility opportunities in host countries, and the better integration of energy access in policies and projects at country level. The full launch statement is reproduced below.
Energy has finally achieved its rightful position at the center of the global development agenda. The new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were approved in September 2015, had among them SDG7: “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.” This will address the needs of the 1.1 billion people lacking electricity access and the 2.9 billion people still using firewood for cooking and heating by providing them with access to safer and more efficient modern energy options, including renewable energy.
Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), launched by the UN Secretary-General in 2011 with objectives now echoed in SDG7, is an implementation platform bringing together partners across the public and private sectors and civil society. It is supported by many entities, including the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and the World Petroleum Council (WPC), all of whose actions will be key in achieving SDG7.
The oil and gas industry is willing to play an important role in energy poverty alleviation, and its concerted efforts can become a positive contribution to the proposed SDGs as well as the objectives of SE4All. The industry is in a unique position to use its resources—in particular its technical expertise and growing knowledge around modern energy—to develop creative solutions for providing improved access to energy and to create opportunities for replicating and scaling up investments aimed at achieving sustainable energy for all, working together with other stakeholders, including development funds, governments, civil society, business developers and other industry initiatives.
Members of the oil and gas industry are supporting a range of activities to tackle the social challenges of their host communities, as part of a broader commitment to sustainable development, and this includes an increased focus on addressing energy poverty. This is important particularly in developing countries, as access to affordable, modern energy is critical to foster local economic development.
To this end, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the World Petroleum Council (WPC), TOTAL S.A. and Shell International B.V., with support and expertise from Global LPG Partnership, the UK-based charity Shell Foundation, and the Boston Consulting Group are launching an Oil and Gas Industry Energy Access Platform (EAP) to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, specifically SDG7. By bringing the members of the oil and gas industry and supporting actors together to highlight their contribution to SDG 7, the platform is also addressing the other SDGs, as energy directly links to every adopted goal and to 56 out of the 169 targets.
The EAP will harness the enormous potential of the industry and build upon its leadership, technology and highly relevant business experience. At the same time, the EAP will provide a platform for the oil and gas companies to collaborate with other stakeholders on specific actions focused on energy access, namely: